SEDONA, AZ — Three hikers trapped on Bear Mountain in Sedona were rescued after spending several days in snowy and dangerous conditions.
Yavapai County Sheriff's Office received the call for help on Sunday night. The hikers said they had been hiking for about eight hours and had rappelled down a cliff but became stuck, facing dying phone batteries, few supplies, and extreme weather.
Weather conditions reportedly stalled multiple aerial rescue efforts. Search-and-rescue crews from multiple counties and departments hiked for two days through 18 inches of snow on rough terrain to reach the hikers.
On Tuesday afternoon when the weather cleared, an Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopter was able to launch and rescue all three hikers, who were taken to the hospital for weather-related injuries.
“Considering the severe weather, these hikers are extremely lucky to be alive. This is an important reminder to pay attention to the weather conditions before embarking on our trails. Winter or summer, Arizona trails can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared,” said Sheriff David Rhodes.
YCSO says the hikers were identified as a woman and two men from the East Coast.